Review: Silversea's Silver Moon

The ninth vessel in Silversea's growing fleet launched with a series of summer sailings in the Greek islands, before switching to Italian itineraries in autumn

Location: The ninth vessel in Silversea's growing fleet launched with a series of summer sailings in the Greek islands, before switching to Italian itineraries in autumn.

This is due to be followed by voyages to Dubai and southeast Asia this winter, with the ship returning to European waters in March 2022 for jaunts around the Med, Iberian peninsula, Iceland, Scandinavia and the British Isles, including a handful of Southampton sailings.

First impressions: Taking a Covid-19 antigen test doesn't sound like the most auspicious start to a luxury cruise, but the ease and efficiency of Silversea's new pre-boarding protocols set the tone for the rest of our sailing, which departed from Piraeus (Athens) on the day of the ship's naming ceremony.

I was whisked through testing in 15 minutes and within half an hour of pulling up at the port was fully checked in and sipping champagne in the ninth-deck Panorama Lounge - and first impressions don't get much better than that.

The lounge's neutral colour palette is in keeping with the understated decor to be found around the ship, blending tasteful artworks and elegant public spaces with a distinctly grown-up feel.

Some of my favourite spots included the colourful and quirky Arts Cafe, where comfy sofas and paisley­patterned armchairs offer the perfect spot to curl up with a book, through to the Japanese-inspired interiors in sushi restaurant Kaiseki or the sophisticated piano lounge vibes of Silver Note.

The facts: Like its sister ship Silver Muse, space is the selling point here.

Silver Moon has capacity for 596 guests in all-suite accommodation ranging from impressive Vista Suites up to the enormous Grand and Owner's Suites, all featuring full-sized Jacuzzi baths and most with verandas to boot.

While our sailing wasn't at maximum capacity, there were plenty of loungers on the pool deck and no shortage of seats in the Venetian Lounge to watch the nightly entertainment, so you can guarantee ample room for guests to enjoy their pick of onboard facilities.

Food and drink is a focal point, with nine restaurants - spanning classic fine dining in Atlantide through to steaks cooked table-side at pool deck venue The Grill - and four cocktail bars.

There's also a large spa and fitness centre with sauna and hammam, albeit only partially open due to Covid restrictions. With a 411-strong crew, service on Silver Moon is impeccable at every turn.

The line's all-inclusive offering now extends not only to drinks and dining but also to private chauffeur pick-up and drop-off within 50 miles of the departure airport, ensuring a seamless experience from start to finish.

Wow: Silver Moon marks the first outing for Silversea's new Salt (Sea and Land Taste) programme, set to be rolled out across the fleet including on forthcoming ship Silver Dawn, which launches in November.

Drawing on the foods and flavours of the area in which the ship is sailing - in my case, the Greek isles, but adapted to the journey du jour - this goes beyond the standard cooking class to become a truly all-encompassing experience, both on board and ashore.

The Salt Kitchen and Salt Bar are cornerstones of the experience, with the former a restaurant serving up a daily-changing dinner menu that reflects not only the region but also the specific port the ship is passing through.

From there, it's only a few steps to the speakeasy-style bar next door, where bartender Carlos whipped up creative cocktails incorporating everything from olive brine and ouzo to Greek spirit metaxa on my sailing, all with an extra splash of fun and flair.

The white smoke-filled dome atop cocktail Selene the Moon is not to be missed for sheer drama alone.

Complementing this are twice-­daily cooking classes in the Salt Lab, where chef David Bilsland shows aspiring cooks how to produce the likes of spanakopita, moussaka and mezze, all the while sharing details of how these dishes developed over the years and tips on understanding Greek cuisine's core ingredients. Classes must be booked but currently attract no additional charge.

That storytelling element continues ashore, where a series of Salt excursions introduce guests to some of the most creative local characters and foodie highlights, from hole-in-the-wall restaurants to family-run farms, for a true taste of what sets each port apart.

Book it: A seven-day sailing on Silver Moon from Civitavecchia (Rome) to Barcelona, departing April 22, 2022, starts at £3,510 per person including business-class flights, home pick-up, transfers, one shore excursion per port, butler service, gratuities and unlimited Wi-Fi.

Katie McGonagle

Katie McGonagle is features & supplements editor at Travel Weekly and a regular contributor to Aspire. She loves exploring new destinations, clocking up more than 50 countries since starting at Travel Weekly six years ago. When she’s not travelling, she can be found researching, writing and editing destination content and overseeing supplements focusing on touring and adventure travel, cruise, hotels and destinations.